Word for the coming year

Every year, since 2012, I’ve been choosing an aspirational word to sum up my hopes for the coming year. I remembered picking perspective, art, and authority, but I couldn’t remember what my word was supposed to have been for 2015. Turns out it was relax, which made me laugh a little. This time last year I was, indeed, anticipating a lot of stress. The release of SHADOW SCALE, two book tours, writing a third book, and then we were trying to fix up our condo, sell it, and move. My choice seemed to be relax or spontaneously combust.

Somehow, I got through it all, plus a trip to Singapore, teaching a class and a workshop, first round revisions…

I’m in a different place this year, however — and I don’t just mean a different house (although that’s true too). This coming year feels stable and open, simultaneously, as if I’ve stepped off the roller coaster onto solid ground. I’m not complaining, believe me, but it has me thinking about how I want to go forward from here.

Every word I’ve chosen previously has been an inward-looking, navel-gazing, self-care word (even authority, although that might not be immediately evident to anyone but me). I’ve taken good care of myself, come back from a depression. I’m feeling really capable on that front. Maybe I don’t need to play defense all the time anymore. Maybe this year I can cast my gaze outward.

And so, my word of the year is going to be generosity. I still need to work out what form that’s going to take, but I’m envisioning it now as a kind of openness. I don’t need to keep myself to myself quite so tightly. I know where my boundaries are; I know what I have available to give, and how not to take things personally. There are a number of directions I could go.

Happy 2016, darlings. I hope it’s looking as open and possible to you.


6 Comments on “Word for the coming year”

  1. Kathi Johnson says:

    I love Seraphina! Read both books several times. I named one of our Coton de tulears “Seraphina”. Fits her well. She’s uniquely beautiful, her whine sounds like a song and she is super feisty, full of fire for an 81/2 lb dog.
    Congratulations on your conquest of depression. I understand. Happy New Year 2016 Rachel Hartman. Your generosity is overflowing🎉😘💕👯

  2. Mary-Anne says:

    Great word! I will have to ponder one for myself. Loved the Seraphina books…can’t wait for your next book. Happy New Year!
    Mary-Anne aka Arwen and John’s Auntie.

  3. This is a wonderful word to have chosen for 2016. I hope that your year is good .

  4. Denise Adams says:

    Love this word! It will be easy for you to fulfill…being generous is a gift to others and to yourself.

  5. Fallon Thorn says:

    Inspiring word choice! I LOVE your books, both Seraphina and Shadow Scale are among my all time favorite books. Cannot wait for your next book! Happy New year! Forget seize the day, seize the entire year and let it rock.

  6. […] year, following the example of the inestimable Rachel Hartman, I went with one word to focus my year – organize. And I did get a bit more organized, and as I […]


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